Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Skinny on Fat Quarters...

Fat Quarters are a sure fired way to get in the mood to be creative. Think of the leftover fabric that you have in your closets that can be turned into fun and useful little fat quarter projects, and there are many!
Read on for "The Skinny on Fat Quarters".

What Is a Fat Quarter?
A fat quarter is a one-fourth yard cut of fabric that (usually) measures 18" x 22" instead of the typical 9" x 44" quarter-yard cut. The longest side's dimension will vary if your fabric is not 44" wide.

Why Would I Want a Fat Quarter?
Look at the illustration and you'll see that a fat quarter gives you the opportunity to cut larger chunks of fabric than would be possible from a regular quarter-yard, including strips that are twice as long on the fabric's (less stretchy) lengthwise grain.
A fat quarter offers more versatility, whether it's for patchwork or appliqué. Quilt shops know that fat quarters are popular, and usually offer a wide assortment of them, pre-cut and ready to go.
You can use fat quarters for strip piecing by making extra strip sets from shorter lengths of fabric until you've cut the number of segments required for the pattern.

The projects featured below use anywhere from 1-6 fat quarters.

iPod or Small Camera Case- This is a free tutorial for a case for your iPod or small camera. This project is quick, easy, and ultra useful. What a fun way to keep your technology cozy and scratch free. It uses two fat quarters.

Pincushion- This is a project I've had my eye on for a while. It uses up to six different fabrics but can easily be made with less. From six different fat quarters, you would be able to make at least six different pincushions. It is an excellent gift idea for any of your crafty friends or online swaps you might participate in.

Quilted Coasters- I made a set of these coasters for a wedding gift and they were quick and easy to make. I made a set of six using two fat quarters and I had enough leftover to make a few more. I enjoyed making them and my husband was happy I had a handmade wedding gift for $2.

Box Bag- This link features several tutorials for various box bags. The one featured is a smaller size and you can make three bags from one fat quarter. Some of the larger box bags use up to two fat quarters. Use these to hold small projects, makeup, pencils, feminine products, you name it!
If these projects don't inspire you to get out and create with fat quarters, I don't know what will!

Christy Nelson is the Mom Crafts editor here at Type-A-Mom and she crafts and blogs over at She's also always on the lookout for a few good crafters to join her craft challenge.

Stop by the store, we have stacks of "Fat Quarters" pre-cut and ready for your magic touch. Log onto for inspirational patterns and colors, Batiks, Calico's and beautiful floral prints.

We received an email from Lisa Gay in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was kind enough to include a few photos of her "Fat Quarter" Wristlet Pouches. They are sweet and practical. If you would like to see more of her fabric creations you can catch up with her on the web.

Do you have an interesting project to share with our readers? Please send an email today, we cannot wait to see what you have created.


Ellen said...

My life wouldn't be the same without fat quarters or remnants...smiles

Jennifer Hawkins Hock said...

I recently borrowed from the library a wonderful book by Kumiko Sudo titled "Omiyage: Handmade Gifts from Fabric in the Japanese Tradition", which is full of small purses and pincushions, etc. to sew.
Fat quarters would be great for these projects, especially since many colors, prints, and fabrics are combined in a single project.